A giant mural of Damilola Taylor will be unveiled on the copper-clad front of Peckham Library in south London where the 10-year-old was returning from when he was stabbed to death.
Southwark councillors gave the green light to a commission by celebrated graffiti artist A. Dee – aka The Artful Dodger – this month.
The artwork, showing 10-year-old Damilola in his school uniform, will sit on top of the library looking down on the square where his last moments were captured on grainy CCTV in November 2000.
Star Wars actor John Boyega, then eight, and his sister Grace had been with Damilola and offered to escort him home from a computer class but he said he was ok to walk home alone. Shortly after he was fatally stabbed by Ricky and Danny Preddie, 13 and 12.
The mural is due to be revealed in front of VIPs and politicians on December 7, a Day of Hope on what would have been Damilola’s 33rd birthday. A youth festival will then follow to commemorate the event.
In 2020, Boyega attended the unveiling of Dee’s mural of him at nearby Peckham Theatre.
The Hope Collective, launched on the 20th anniversary of Damilola’s death, is now one of the largest coalitions of youth groups assembled to find solutions to poverty and inequality.
The boy’s father Richard Taylor OBE, 75, said: “I am so totally delighted that the mural has been commissioned.
“With the Prime Minister having sanctioned Damilola’s birthday on December 7 as an official Day of Hope, this is the icing on the cake in terms of a fitting legacy.
“The Hope Collective has grown so big now. I am thrilled to see the impact it is having.”
Gary Trowsdale, Hope Collective’s director of programming, added: “We are now the biggest cohort of its kind, coordinating efforts to find solutions and better safeguard young people.
“The UK Youth sector and a 21-strong network of violence reduction units are bringing a public health methodology to prevention.
“This mural to Damilola is something the whole collective is excited by and it will provide a wonderful focal point for ongoing work.”